Azusa Pacific University Reinstates Ban on Same-Sex Relationships

By >a href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/” target=”_blank”>Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (IMG_26671) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The university has a strong underground LGBTQ support group.

Azusa Pacific University, a prominent university among American evangelicals, has reinstated its total ban on same-sex relationships. The university, one of the oldest Christian educational institutions in the West Coast, now claims that members of its trustee board never gave their official approval to the administrative decision to lift the same-sex relationship ban as stated in the conduct standards' agreement stated by the school. It thus justified the return to tradition by stating that the university recognizes only the biblical view of marriage.

Azusa Pacific University's code of conduct states students should not engage in sex outside of marriage. The institution describes marriage solely as a union between two different sexe,- a woman and a man. The code of conduct specifically says its students, under any condition, must not engage in a romantic relationship with people of the same sex.

Approximately 200 LGBTQ students, faculties, and their supporters gathered inside the school grounds on October 1, to denounce the sudden and quick reversal of its earlier decision. Many queer students, who were ecstatic to see the ban lifted, felt rejected after the ban came back into force. They said the intervening few days gave them a taste of freedom. The gay community felt humanized during those days.

The LGBTQ movement was always present in Azusa Pacific University (APU). The has been a discreet support group catering to the emotional needs of LGBTQ students for many years. The group even has a name, Haven. The group, however, was not able to obtain any kind of official recognition as a student organization. Its members became active in their quest to end anti-LGBTQ discrimination after Mahesh Pradhan, a former employee of the university, claimed to be the victim of harassment and assault by colleagues who believed him to be gay.

The Code of Conduct followed by the university was slammed by Brave Commons, the LGBTQ organization formed by APU alumni. Members of Brave Commons said queer students can enjoy romantic relationships like straight people and not always engage in sexual escapades as the common perception goes. Such a distorted view causes harm to the community, many among them devout Christians.

In defense, APU administrators said the handbook concerning sexual behavior of students creates a single standard for all students engaged in graduate studies, thus negating the problems which will happen if different standards are imposed for different groups.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter